Solid Power, Inc., a developer of all-solid-state battery cells for electric vehicles, announced an award from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) for a multi-phase, multi-year research contract to develop nickel- and cobalt-free all-solid-state battery cells. Solid Power expects to receive up to $12.5 million to complete the project through the life of the contract.
During the IARPA Robust Energy Sources for Intelligence Logistics in Extreme Novel and Challenging Environments (RESILIENCE) project, Solid Power plans to collaborate with the University of Maryland to develop a nano-scale iron sulfide pyrite (FeS2) cathode that is largely composed of iron and sulfur.
Solid Power’s objective is to produce multi-layer cells meeting intelligence application needs for high energy density, high power density, long calendar life, quiet operation, and robustness to extreme environmental conditions.
This effort leverages Solid Power’s next-generation advanced cathode formulation, which has the potential to cut cathode active material cost by more than 90%. The IARPA award substantiates the flexibility of Solid Power’s All-Solid-State Platform technology, which can enable high energy electrode materials not suitable in lithium-ion or other liquid-based cell architectures and provides an opportunity to demonstrate the potential benefits of next-generation chemistries ahead of introduction into automotive applications.
The transition to a pyrite cathode could provide a massive cost advantage over traditional lithium-ion batteries at the cell level, while providing very high specific energy that can serve a range of applications. The IARPA RESILIENCE program is a natural fit for Solid Power given our history working with this chemistry.
Iron sulfide cathodes have been a focus area at Solid Power dating back to research at the University of Colorado Boulder. Not only is the material low-cost, but it can also enable long calendar life applications while delivering extremely high cell-level specific energies that liquid-containing batteries are unlikely to be able to achieve even with a lithium metal anode.
IARPA is a federal agency that engages in a broad range of cutting-edge research on a range subjects to benefit and support the US Intelligence Community. IARPA is based out of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.